Kiss Me ~ I’m Irish

The first clue should have been that I vastly prefer shamrock-shaped sugar c00kies to those Dutch windmill things. Plus I’ve always loved green, all shades, from iced lime to deep forest to teal. Love rainbows, adore Enya, gravitate to Irish names for characters in my fiction, etc.

Why?

Because I’m a quarter Irish, that’s why!

My whole life I’ve been telling people, when they ask that pesky question “wut are you?” that I’m Russian (Ashkenazi Jewish) and Dutch, but the Dutch part is wrong. Wrong! Yet that’s what I was told, and indeed my mother had a Dutch maiden name. Sometimes the actual DNA tests yield surprising results however. Turns out I have zero, zilch, not even a trace, of genetic stuffs from the Netherlands. Zipperooni. My paternal side is accounted for with the European Jewish coming in at 52% (a two percent bonus from my mom’s side!), but my maternal — > paternal alleged Dutch heritage… nut&honey. And truth be told, I wouldn’t mind so much not being genetically related to the person who I thought was my mother’s father. Let’s leave it at that. Perhaps my grandmother had an Irish mailman… and he rang twice.

Irish! How fun is this!? No wonder I always lurved St. Patrick’s Day. The Irish comes in at 26% actually, with the rest as traces from Italy/Greece, Eastern Europe, the Iberian Peninsula, and Scandinavia. Nothing else. Funny how I was never interested in this stuff when my mother was collecting dribs and drabs of information, old newspaper articles, and whatnot, but this? This is SCIENCE. So I like it.

It amuses me to no end to recall those dreary dates when men would ask me my heritage, and I would answer with the Russian/Dutch… and it turns out to be wrong. Wrong! Would it have made a diff if I’d said I was a quarter Irish? Would I have bonded with an Irishman? Would he have taken me home to see his Celtic knots? Lawl.

Hey, I get to make Irish jokes now. I’m one of the tribe… er clan. Whatever. This opens up a whole new world of comedic possibilities!

hat

Someday Now

Maybe it’s the post-election blues infecting me, but I’m more and more aware of the ticking clock lately. Funny how women say that when they feel the bio-urge to have a baby, though I didn’t feel that way then. I mean obviously I had a baby (two of ’em), but the desire was mild. Maybe if I’d waited longer the alarm would have begun to ring, who knows.

In any case, I feel the tick-tock now. Not to have another baby, silly, but to do otter things before it’s too late. I keep saying, oh when I retire bla bla bla… but what if it’s too late then? I might not be in the fabulous health I am in now (lol)… I might not be swimming in the money I am in now (lolololol)… the world might end (eek). I’m thinking I can’t, or shouldn’t be, saying “someday” to everything alla time.

Not sure what wild and crazy things I’m gonna do either, but it’s a new year, and I don’t have any obligations, other than going to work every day and taking care of kitty, so I can basically do whatever I please in my free time. Thing is, I’m not exactly sure what those things might be. I mindlessly flip to the default… play board games, read books, go to the movies… NTTAWWT, but there could be more things I might like, if I CBA to explore ’em instead of being lazy and/or pushing off things that sound interesting until “someday.”

So far this week what have I done? Well, I cooked up a delish pile of veggies & pasta for myself the otter night instead of eating PB and toast. Usually I say, oh it’s pointless to cook just for myself… but why? Why shouldn’t I cook for ME? I’m worth cooking for! And the V&P were delicious, btw, plus I have lots of nommy and healthy leftovers. I’ve been looking up recipes that I’m actually gonna make, instead of filing away for “someday.”

I joined a new Meetup group this morning ~ some costume party type thing. Who knows if I’ll go to any; they may all end up being too far away. Point is, I’ve decided to be on the lookout for new fun events. I may join more Meetups, or just peruse them for ideas to do on my own. A great thing about being me is that I’ve always been cool with going out and about solo. If you can manage it, this is a very freeing trait, not waiting for someone else to do stuffs with. No one is going to judge you at a museum for looking at art by yourself. No one is judging you for walking into the movies alone. People are too busy thinking about themselves.

You know where people are busily judging others? Right here, on the internet.

judge

Via The Daily Prompt: Someday

Don’t Get Hooked On Me

Remember that old song from 1972 by Mac Davis? Typical guy atypically confessing that he’s only out for a good time and the girl better not develop feelings for him cuz he’ll only dump her if she does. Lots of romance novels begin with this type of premise (could be from either the hero or the heroine’s POV, or both), but of course they don’t end up that way. After the princess is rescued from the pirates and the dukedom restored to its rightful stud, turns out everyone just wants to get married and reproduce. WHO WOULD HAVE THUNK?

I’ve been meaning to blargh on attachment styles ever since they were mentioned in comments here a few months ago ~ I removed that entire poast however because I was uncomfortable with it (my own fault for revealing too much personal stuffs as I do sometimes). I read about the concept years back but never took the test, or if I did I forgot what my result was. Anyway, I’ve taken it now and ended up with a result slightly in the “preoccupied” zone, which means that I can easily express my feelings, but I also have some negative emotions that can interfere with relationships. This sounds correct and unsurprising.

What’s interesting to me is that so many of men I’ve known have had even worse problems, ranging from the inability to express emotions at all, to being able to express only negative ones, to simply wanting to avoid the topic of feelings altogether. The theory suggests that this comes from how our primary caregiver related to us when we were babies. If we were soothed properly when we needed comfort, then we felt secure when our caregiver left us and were affectionate upon their return. We tend to behave likewise as adults. But if we were not soothed properly… if we were ignored, rebuffed, or erratically smothered with too much attention, then we were more likely to become anxious or avoidant little peeps. This way of relating emotionally would tend to stick with us in our adult romantic relationships.

These basic attachment styles are super hard to overcome without a lot of self-reflection and effort to change. I probably should have done more to get out of the anxiety zone. As far as partners… did I subconsciously look for men with a raft of impossible issues since Day One, or did they come looking for me? Who knows. I think this shall forever remain a mystery. But I do get some good poetry out of it.

Contemplating Temptation

The Lord above made liquor for temptation
To see if man could turn away from sin
The Lord above made liquor for temptation
But, with a little bit of luck, with a little bit of luck
When temptation comes you’ll give right in

–“With a Little Bit of Luck” from My Fair Lady (lyricist Alan Jay Lerner)

Quotes about temptation seem to fall into two main categories: (1) funny ones with the joke turning on vanquishing temptation by giving in to it; and (2) serious ones with a warning about how sin is usually dressed in false goodness or something. I think by the time you’re my age so much writing begins to sound clichéd.

The writer’s job is to make old ideas sound fresh and new ideas seem inevitable. I read this, or something like it, somewhere recently, but I can’t remember where. This is also a function of age. I do get tempted to look everything up again, but then I get caught in the link vortex, and suddenly it’s past midnight and I’m shivering on the sidewalk outside the poetry bar and the last bus has left.

My Fair Lady has always been a favorite. The dialog and lyrics are so clever. I especially love the scenes with Eliza’s father. He’s so much fun! The story is not really a great romance between the protags, as such things go, but I can understand now why I’ve always related to it. A brainy, arrogant man pays a “lesser” girl a bunch of attention ~ but more for his own selfish reasons rather than any genuine attraction. As they interact, she careens between feeling worshipful and murderous toward him, while he is mostly indifferent. Or at least that’s how he appears. We’re supposed to believe that somewhere deep down he does care for her, but his persona is such that he remains outwardly unruffled. She rejects a clearly smitten suitor who is openly affectionate toward her as she pines away for the regard of the Ice God. In frustration she leaves him, but eventually caves and returns, accepting scraps over nothing at all.

I used to be somewhat like Eliza… and occasionally I’m tempted back into this dynamic even today. But then I spit out the marbles and walk away.

marbles

Via The Daily Prompt:  Tempted

Noodling, Literally

noodles

As the new year begins, I ponder some of those deep questions such as… who am I really, what path shall I take toward my future, and why the fuck don’t I have a food scale?

Today I’m making a kugel (sweet not savory) and the recipe calls for 8oz noodles, while I have a pkg of 16oz noodles. If I had a food scale, I could easily measure 8oz noodles, but I don’t, so I can’t. I used to, of course, back when I cooked meals for my family, but that was a lifetime ago and many house moves back. Obviously it got lost in the reshuffles. This also could be a relatively simple problem to solve if I were one of those people who didn’t mind eyeballing the noodles as they poured them into the boiling water and saying, OK, good enough, this is about half the package, but I’m not, so I can’t.

As I consider this, a memory surfaces of my grandmother Louise counting out spaghetti strands. I guess I was around 10 years old at the time, not sure. Possibly we were all living together in the house that she hated on Longuyland, not sure. In any case, she was making dinner for herself, Grandpa, and me… and wanted to use a half-box of spaghetti. There was no discussion of why it would be no good to estimate half the box; she simply poured the entire box out onto a plate and enlisted Grandpa to help her start counting.

This OCD stuff is relentlessly genetic. Sorry kids.

However I’m not going to count all these damn noodles today. I take two bowls the same size and fill them with the dry noodles until they appear even. One bowl gets dumped into the boiling water; the other goes back into the package. Done deal.

Do I actually need a food scale after all? I don’t know. I won’t buy one right now. I try not to have unnecessary things around these days or spend money on stuff I won’t use. Almost all recipes can be dealt with by using my set of measuring cups and spoons. But noodles are a different aminal… yet, how often do I make kugel or noodley recipes? This is the first time in a while. Who knows when it’ll happen again?

Maybe when/if it does, I’ll be one of those eyeballers. You never know… I am  open to the possibility of change. Stay tuned!

Happy New Year, blogpeeps! ❤

An Appropriate Poast

In this time of relentless sadness day after horrible day, there’s only one topic that’s safe for bloggery and that’s… cupcakes! I do have some news on the subject. Casey’s Cupcakes is closing three shops, and by the time you read this they should already be gone ~ Bella Terra in HB, Woodbury Town Center in Irvine, and Fashion Island in Newport Beach.

I have mixed feelings about Casey’s. I always thought that the shops had the perfect look for cupcakeries: super pretty and pink, glitzed up to the max, bright, cheery, very upbeat. I simply felt happy walking into one. Their cupcakes were beautiful little confections as well. But as far as taste… different story. My first experience with a Casey’s cupcake was in May of 2012, and I recorded it for my faithful fans right here. A strawberry bomb. 😦

However! Around a year later, a friend and I got Casey’s at Fashion Island and they were delicious. Check out that cupcake review here. After that, I had the Beach Boy a couple more times to make absolutely sure it stayed delicious (it did). Really yummy cupcake! That’s when I developed my scientific theory that one should test a cupcakery by trying a plainer cupcake rather than a fancier one. It’s called the vanilla ice cream theory of baked goods. We could apply that theory to other things… oh never mind.

MOVING ON. I subsequently tried Casey’s red velvet (reviewed here), which was great, but I must admit I’ve passed Casey’s several times lately on the way to/from movies and such… and felt no real temptation to pop in and buy a goody. Not even when I saw the pretty pretty blue/green Beach Boys sitting in the display case. I’m just over the whole cupcake/frosted cake thing, I guess. It’s true! I’m finally bored with all the sugar. So, I suppose it’s my fault these stores had to close.

I’m sorry! It’s not you, cake… it’s me. Take comfort in that, if you can.

I Otterly Forgot

About my new slippers!

otter-slippers

A few weeks back I moved an item from my Amazon wishlist to my shopping cart and one of my eagle-eyed daughters noticed cuz we share an account. “Mom!” she yelled at me (in text). “Don’t buy those slippers on Amazon. They’re way too expensive!” They were these cute lavender cozy slippers with soles (gotta have sole) for around $17… they really didn’t seem overpriced to me, but what do I know?

I mentioned this in passing on Facebook, as I’m wont to do, and my clever friends had lots of great slipper ideas for me. I was very tempted by all the things. One friend linked me up with these otterly adorable slippers however and I had to get them. They were more than $17, but… OTTERS! Just look at them! SQUEEEEE!

I was worried that Gatsby might attack these critters, but he totally dgafs.

otter-slippers-2

I just love them. ❤

Crabby Quora Cat Rant

And another thing!

I’m on Quora… granted, it’s in a half-assed way, like I do every hobbyish activity, but regardless, I don’t see why I can’t put forth a lazy, minimal effort and still become a SUPERSTAR. Huh, huh?

So, this morning, I’m still in bed, late for me because it’s like 27 degrees in my apartment, which changes the equation of how much meowing becomes annoying enough to motivate me to throw off the warm cozy covers and get up. I’m reading my phone, as you do, done with FB, Google news, Insta, yada, and so I go to my new app… Quora. I just d/l’d this the otter week (remind me to do my otterly poast next), which makes reading the thing marginally more convenient than going on the web. MARGINALLY. Why can’t sites learn to stick you back where you were in your feed instead of flooping you up to the top? This would make me so much more inclined to stay on a site than exiting and returning to good old FB, which actually has accomplished this feat. But anyway, I digress.

One of the five topics I said I know something about is cats, which means I get cat questions thrown at me from the Quora-bots. I don’t really know that much about cats compared to the actual veterinarians on there, but dammit I want to participate on SOMETHING and it’s either that or math puzzles, which the hyper competitive math nerds jump on the second they come out of the gate (plus it turns out I don’t fucking remember much math anyway). Obviously I’m not going to answer specific questions such as hey what does it mean when my cat’s pee turns blue or whatever. I leave that for the docs. But if there’s an opinion asked for about behavior or whatever, I can bullshit as well as the next Quoran. Or better. I’m thinking better, NOT TO MENTION FUNNIER.

This morning I wrote this, which I think is hilarious, and snarky, but it’s an important topic, not really BS after all. And I wrote it with my brain half-frozen, on my phone, no typos (yay!)… it is now up to 107 views in a couple hours, but ONLY ONE LIKE, which I do not understand. Why don’t moar Quorans like this? No one likes me there. No one follows me. Waaah!

I’m repoasting it here to complain and also because it’s a good message.

PS: I used to have in/out cats. This isn’t hypocrisy. This is called learning from mistakes.

Why is going outside bad for cats?

Short answer: cats who go outdoors have an average lifespan of about 4 years. Cats who stay indoors live around 15 years.

Outdoors, cats get hit by cars. They get killed by dogs, raccoons, coyotes, and nasty people. They get harassed by creepy kids. They get into poison left for other animals. They kill birds because that’s what cats DO, and then the bird loving people freak out and want to kill all the cats.

Let’s talk about people who feel sad because they’re worried that kitty isn’t experiencing a full and complete life without scampering around in the grass. That feeling has nothing to do with kitty ~ it’s all about YOU, and you need to get over it. I understand the feeling. I’ve had it. But cats are not people, no matter how much we love them. They don’t sit around and think about all the things they’re missing out on.

When you neuter a cat, does he pine away for his missing hookups? Does he lie around on Saturday night wishing he had his balls back so he could go prowl around and get some? No. No, he doesn’t. He dgafs. He’s not wishing and dreaming and thinking and hoping. He’s taking a nap.

It’s the same thing with the outdoors. Just because kitty sits in the window chittering at the birds doesn’t mean she can conceive of the thought, hey I am being prevented from living my dream here of running outside and ripping the throat out of that sparrow. No. That’s something WE would think because we’re people. Kitty is chirping at the birds because kitty chirps at the birds. In a few minutes, she’ll take a nap and forget about it until next time she’s at the window. She’s not sad all day, musing over her unfulfilled potential of top regional sparrow killer, getting awards, maybe running for office. No.

Get over it. Keep your cats inside. Because you love them.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Yes, I’m in SoCal, but it’s been cold and I’ve been cold, whether indoors or out. It’s just how I am and it’s worse lately. I think I’ve been depressed. Well, it’s a depressing year. Wtf, 2016? Seriously. The election, omg. Let’s not even. And every day some celeb from our childhood dies, on and on. That’ll never stop, I suppose… there are so many of them. And then I’ll die, boom. I just have one question: will I die before or after Valerie Bertinelli? That’s all I want to know. I’ve always loved her.

I haven’t been blogging. What’s there to blog about? Bleh. I haven’t been tweeting much, although I retweet. Retweeting is totes legit, but it feels somewhat wrong to me. I should be coming up with my own tweets, dammit. It’s not tumblr! Tumblr sounds like what it is: things tumbling over each other, like a kaleidoscope. It’s fine to simply repoast things in a new order, as long as you give credit, not that I’ve logged on to my tumblrs in a million years. But twitter? I think I should be coming up with original stuff. Whatever.

Here were my writing plans for the year. Finish a book of poems about the moon. Fail. Finish a book of connected short stories I began a long time ago. Fail. Write the second book in a trilogy of weirdness. Fail.

Here were my exercise plans for the year. Exercise more than last year, which was barely at all. Fail. I’ve just been so tired and blah.

I bought a car in January (first car I’ve bought by myself), which was great… until some dickhead hit me on the freeway in June and zoomed off without stopping to exchange info. Yes, I was insured for that, but it was still super upsetting.

I discovered I loved poke… until I got horribly sick from it in August and took weeks to get back to normal, if even. My migraines have been awful, probably unrelated to this.

In September, I broke my vow of never going back on a dating site and rejoined Plenty of Fish, with the same predictable, dismal results. This is probably why I’ve been extra sad. Luckily, a friend advised me to quit and I just deleted my profile and am done again. I’m already feeling better. Thank G-d for friends. I’ve been spending more time with friends the last several weeks, which I think has saved me from feeling even worse than I would have otterwise.

My daughters are coming to visit next week, so things are definitely looking up. I have a lot of books to read, which may or may not inspire me to write in 2017. We’ll see. I might do the Daily Prompts here again, or not. I don’t know. I might tweet some pomes again one of these days, dunno. Should exercise, meh. I make no promises, vows, or resolutions. That’s just the way it is.

This year? We shall never speak of it again. Happy merry yada. No, this doesn’t mean this is my last poast of the year, though it might be. Whatever, who knows.

Phoneless Thursday

No, this isn’t a meme. I simply forgot my phone this morning. I showered, dressed, made lunch for two days (mac&cheese with green beans, nom!), cleaned up cat barf, bought movie tix from Costco online, checked POF for new weirdos soul mates, etc. You know, a normal morning routine… and then I realized I was 5 minutes late, OMGAWD, and ran out the door.

My poor phone was still charging in the kitchen.

I discover this in the car when I glance at my display and see a red line through the phone icon. Crap! Should I go back? But I’m already a teensy bit late and several blocks away. No. Just tough it out, UV. You’ve been through the jungles of Usenet; you can do this. Hmph. Fine. I decide to at least call my eldest daughter and warn her of the situation, so I hit the button thingie and it says “phone not connected.” Well, fuck. Apparently you need to have the damn phone in the car to make the call. Right. I know that.

I get to the office and turn on my ‘puter. Reach in my purse for my phone so I can read the news for a couple minutes before starting work and… oops, no phone. Right. I email my kids to tell them I don’t have my phone. D2 emails back suggesting I meditate. I email a friend to give him the scoop and ask him to please let me know of any important news. He replies right away to tell me that Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer has died. What a terrible year this is.

I do some work. D1 emails and concurs with the meditation. Time for a tea break. Usually I check Facebook while having tea, if I’m not super busy. But I can’t do that if I don’t have a phone, now can I? Nope. I’m now out of the loop of what my friends might be jabbering about. The political outrage, the cute kitties, the lush cakes, the hilarious cartoons, the snarky gossipfests, the adorable otters, the links to quizzes to find out what Christmas ornaments reflect our hidden personalities… that all exists in an alternate reality today, inaccessible, remote as Mars.

Sigh. And what if people are texting or calling me? I’ve emailed my kids, but what about other people? There could be something important and I’m not responding. What if my landlord needs to talk to me about something urgent? I can’t remember if he has my work number. He must have it. What if… what if… an attorney is calling me to tell me that some obscure relative died and I’ve inherited an enormous estate?! I need to start planning right away how to deal with that. OK, back to work.

~*~ Lunchtime ~*~

I’m almost done with Bazaar of Bad Dreams. Every story is a gem, except for this horribly boring baseball one that put me to sleep last night. I don’t even bother going back to pick up what I’d missed, moving right along to “Mister Yummy,” which is great. Normally I’d eat and read, and then check my phone for things. Besides the news and FB, I am also pining for Instagram. Pics of beaches in Turkey, giraffes in Africa, kittens and cupcakes and flowers everywhere… all are out of reach right now. I’m not getting my local weather and traffic reports either, not that I need them, being inside all day, but it’s nice to know what’s going on, just in case.

Also, what if some man is trying to reach me? Like a long ago guy… someone I ended things badly with, or ghosted… or vice versa… maybe it was all a misunderstanding… perhaps he’s trying to reach me today of all days, who even knows why. But I’m not answering! This could be my one last chance at true love, but it’s slipping away into the mists forever. Bye dream guy… sorry… it’s the cat’s fault… I had to spray the barfy carpet, which goofed up my routine…

You know the best part of my day? Early morning snuggling with Gatsby. It’s so hard to get up because he is so warm and furrypurry, squished right up next to me. Sometimes he licks my nose. Dawww. Second best is getting home from work and playing with him on the floor for a few minutes before giving him his evening meal. He’s such a good kitty! He’s my little soul dude. ❤

Back to work.

~*~ Home ~*~

Quick hi to kitty. Feed him. Then… phone! OK, soooo… no one called. I have a couple texts from my closest friends, one of whom is worried I hadn’t responded all day. ONE. No one else mentions how weird it is that I’m missing from the e-verse. I hop onto FB… there are 30 notifications, which isn’t really a lot considering I’ve haven’t touched it in over 10 hours. None of them are people tagging me in concern for my whereabouts either. OK, then. I see how it is. If I disappeared, 99% of you would not GAF!

Except my kitty. Because he loves me. Yes, he does.